CARDIFF: Real Madrid ended a 12-year wait for a 10th European Cup win in May, but it would be no surprise if their next title arrives just 12 months later based on their performance in the 2-0 victory over Sevilla in the European Super Cup on Tuesday.
Carlo Ancelotti’s expensively assembled team dominated the lively annual European club season curtain-raiser against the Europa League winners in Cardiff and could easily have won by more than the two excellent goals scored by Cristiano Ronaldo.
With the Spanish League season starting on the weekend of August 23-24, Ancelotti’s players have more than a week to hone their fitness and skill levels, to pose even more of a threat to both their domestic and European rivals.
Real go into the new season with an even stronger squad than the one that finished the last campaign when they won the Champions League and King’s Cup but finished third behind Atletico Madrid and Barcelona in La Liga.
The squad has been bolstered by the arrivals of Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich, James Rodriguez from AS Monaco and goalkeeper Kayler Navas from Levante, an exciting trio of players who all shone at the World Cup.
In total, Ancelotti has around $840 million worth of talent at his disposal and perhaps one of his main tasks this coming season, as well as winning as many matches as possible, is to keep such an array of star players happy.
Ancelotti, however, seems totally at ease with the kind of problem that would cause plenty of headaches for most managers.
“It will be impossible for anyone to play in the 65 matches ahead of us,” said the Italian. “It doesn’t work like that. Xabi Alonso, for example, suspended from tonight’s [Tuesday] match, is a very important player for us and he will play his matches, even though we have Toni Kroos in midfield and all the others.
“We are capable of playing at a very high level this season, every player has a role to play.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2014.
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